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Making statements

Mar 21, 2010, 9:29 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
John Lannan was sharp today during his five innings.

JUPITER, Fla. — It's getting to that time of the spring where guys who know they're going to make the roster need to step up and get into regular-season mode, and where guys who are still fighting to make the roster need to step up and seize the opportunity.

Today, we saw some good examples of both scenarios from several players. Let's run through them…

The de facto ace of the Nationals staff — at least until June, that is — has had a pretty quiet spring. And I mean that in a good way. Lannan has simply gone out when called upon and done his job with little fanfare. He's preparing himself for that projected April 5 start against Roy Halladay and the Phillies, and he's right on track to slide effortlessly into regular-season mode. "The quieter, the better," manager Jim Riggleman said. "He's the ultimate pro, in terms of his preparation, his competitiveness out there. A very low-maintenance guy. Just put him out there and let him go." Today, Lannan allowed one earned run and four hits over five strong innings against theRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Mar 21, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    Being left handed and effective is a plus for English. I'd say his stint at AA or AAA will be a short one. JT in SC

  2. Steven J. Berke - Mar 21, 2010 at 9:45 PM

    I'd say Maxwell is about running out of chances (which is too bad, he's really a great kid). But if Bernardina can continue to hit .250 or above and contribute something offensively, considering his speed and defensive skills, I'd say he's not a terrible choice to start in right field. If nothing else, barring a last-minute trade or signing (of Jermaine Dye?), if you send both Maxwell and Bernardina to Syracuse, who do you put out in RF? Morse? Harris?

  3. Sunderland - Mar 21, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    Lannan is just the quietest quality pitcher around. I love that he had a 5 inning / 75 pitch target, and he finished up the 5 innings in only 60 pitches and so had to go to the pen to throw 15 more.He pitches to contact, which is becoming more and more rare nowadays. And it sounds like Mock, and even Strasburg, are doing the same thing.

  4. peric - Mar 21, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    With weaknesses in the rotation and right field you'd almost have to expect a trade of some sort. But this is the Nats not some other team. Guessing that they put all of their best and brightest prospect and pseudo prospects in Harrisburg. That seems to be the way things are headed.I think English makes this team over Burnett. Both he and Capps have had problems from the beginning of spring. They might wait for Capps but I doubt they will wait for Burnett.

  5. peric - Mar 21, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    Jermaine Dye is now a DH. You might as well put Willingham out there.

  6. Anonymous8 - Mar 21, 2010 at 10:37 PM

    Steven J. Berke said… I'd say Maxwell is about running out of chances (which is too bad, he's really a great kid).You would think a consensus here means something as you are saying what many have said but Rizzo goes to the beat of his own drummer.Since given the GM job officially, he has made some odd moves including some of his starting rotation signings.

  7. Anonymous - Mar 21, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    There is no way Burnett doesn't make the team.

  8. Union Station - Mar 21, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    So with Maxwell and Bernadina flaming out, is Willie Harris the de facto Opening Day right fielder? Or Ian Desmond? Or a player to be named later?Took a tour of Nationals Park yesterday. What a beautiful day! I recommend the tour to all. Got to visit the clubhouse, the dugout, the bullpen, the press box, and lots more. All we need is a great team to play in this great stadium.

  9. 1stBaseCoach - Mar 22, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    So Bernadina is batting .250 in his effort to become the starting RF.Ain't that about the same as former Nat Elijah Dukes? But with much better attitude, tremendous fielding skills, and great base running skills?All i am saying is that its been a week now since Dukes got nuked, and unless I've missed the press releases, and/or tweets, he's still waiting for someone to show some interest.

  10. Anonymous - Mar 22, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    Will Bernardina and Maxwell both end up at AAA with Willy in right and Wily as the 4th outfielder?

  11. natsone_va - Mar 22, 2010 at 4:06 AM

    I keep thinking of how Mike Morse will become our version of Jayson Werth. Werth started his career slow but has taken off lately. Both are similarly built. Morse is 3 years younger. I like how he hits and I think with a little more exposure (playing time) he can become Werth-like. I like him for right field. What do you guys think?

  12. natsone_va - Mar 22, 2010 at 4:07 AM

    BTW: Happy Birthday, Mr. Morse.





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